Why is it that some drivers think that they can drive on a stormy day like yesterday, in the same manner as they drive on a toasty warm summer day? Who are these people that they think they are impervious to slippery, snowy, icy, slushy, wintery road conditions? And why do they hang on my bumper, and alongside me, like I’m some kind of idiot-driver magnet?
Nobody has ever accused me of being “Driver of the Year”, God knows. There are times, though, and blizzards are among them, when even the most road-hoggiest among us must pull in our horns in an attempt to keep body and soul together on the road.
I drove home from work yesterday, taking the long way through town in order to avoid the double lanes on the Crosstown Arterial and the Outer Ring Road. My favorite pastime during winter storms is looking out the back windows of my house to see the frozen-brained idiots on the Outer Ring Road flip over in the ice and snow. I was not going to be one of those frozen-brained idiots. I figured, correctly, that if I was in a single lane of traffic coming through town, it’s safer, even if it is as annoying as hell to be going 2km per hour.
As it turns out, the road conditions were indeed horrible, and 2km per hour was not a bad idea. Quite an admission, coming from ol’ Lady Lead Foot herself.
The snow clearing was... well… it was non-existent. I’m usually all there for praising the city’s snow clearing. I love seeing Paul Mackey, Deputy City Manager, with his brand new teeth on the evening news, defending the snow clearing, and we’re right there cheering with him, usually. Yesterday, though, I could not disagree with our snow clearing critics from d’ Pearl and CBS. For a storm that started around dinnertime, the roads were untouched on major arteries like LeMarchant Road at 4.30pm. Ridiculous. It reinforced my good decision to stay off Columbus Drive / Prince Phillip Drive and the Ring Road, for sure.
I managed to get across town with minimal infusions of adrenalin, until I got to the new set of lights at the intersection of New Cove Road and Portugal Cove Road. Once I made that left turn, heading to Airport Heights, I was then in the land of double lanes, and the sacred territory of suicidal idiots who believe that regardless of the weather conditions, or the width of the snow-covered road – if there are two lanes painted on the road in the summer, then, by God, there are two lanes there in the height of a blizzard, and they are going to charge forth, all other drivers be damned!!!
I don’t know what kind of winter tires or studded tires they have, but whatever they are, they’re not good enough. I have studded tires, and I was slipping around Portugal Cove Road like I was on ice skates. The only thing missing in the mix was my wobbly ankles.
People in general are nutz, I’ve come to that conclusion, but a large majority of people (except me!) with SUVs and studded tires are at a whole other level of nutz-ness.
I got home in one piece, due solely to my superbly defensive driving, and pulled on my jammies fast as time, eager to forget how people I don’t even know just tried to kill me with their driving.